Windows 10 32-bit license on Windows 10 64-bit key

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I've done many searches but cannot confirm if there is a way to run Windows 10 Pro 32-bit on a PC that is licensed/preinstalled for 64-bit. I've found some answers seeming to confirm you can run 64-bit on 32-bit license just not the other way. Complicating this is that Dell uses the OEM software that checks UEFI/BIOS for key, so I wouldn't even have a key to enter. Why on earth, you ask, would I need the 32-bit version?

(Long story short: legacy software. Access 97 isn't supposed to work on anything past Windows XP but I've managed to get it to work on Windows 10 trial version, but only the 32-bit flavor. One of our attorneys has a database that will not upgrade past Access 97 without breaking, but I want it to run on a supported operating system. It's currently on Windows 7 32-bit.)

So...any way to install Windows 10 32-bit on a 64-bit licensed PC without buying a new license? It would be a Dell OptiPlex PC. Dell doesn't seem to have any options to preinstall 32-bit version.


SaucyKnave
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SaucyKnave

Bitness doesn't matter, as far as I know and as far as I've ever heard. The license itself is bit-ignorant. The media might only have the software for one or the other, but the license can be used on either.
You only need to find the correct media that will accept the license (OEM vs Retail sort of thing) and you're good to reinstall.

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22 Replies

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SaucyKnave
Jalapeno
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Best Answer
SaucyKnave

Bitness doesn't matter, as far as I know and as far as I've ever heard. The license itself is bit-ignorant. The media might only have the software for one or the other, but the license can be used on either.
You only need to find the correct media that will accept the license (OEM vs Retail sort of thing) and you're good to reinstall.

19
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Da_Schmoo
Mace
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The key determines the version of Windows and whether Home or Pro - whether you use 32-bit or 64-bit is up to you.

5
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2300peterw
Datil
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2300peterw

Not a direct answer, but you could consider WINE which has no licence issues. It is a Linux programme that runs many Windows programme by pretending to be a Windows setup. Microsoft Access does run in it. https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=application&iId=12

LXLE has WINE built in and any Ubuntu, etc, it is easy to install. http://www.lxle.net/

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Theborgman77
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Selfstudy is an IT service provider.

the problem with all 64bit OSes is they do not support 16 bit Visual Languages code. 32 Bit version of the same OS supports them. This is important on some manufacturing equipment with replacement costs of 250K to over 1M in value. 

You do not need a separate key from a 64bit OS to install Windows 10 32bit. 

1
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Gorfmaster1
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I believe that you can use either architecture versions of Windows. I know that if you have a MAK or KMS key, it will work on either architecture versions. I have done it the other way (x86 original installed to an x64 install with the Dell OEM CD)

0
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Jacob9339
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Thanks all. I'll see if I can get OEM installed first but can use VL if needed.

1
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Big Green Man
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https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

One of the first questions the MCT asks is which architecture you want to use.


If you have VL media, the VLSC will give you options for either the x86 or x64 version. Both will activate using the same MAK or KMS keys.

XP or Vista was the last OS to have separate licensing for x64 and x86. I think XP.

0
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tulioarends
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You need to break that database.

While you can install Win 10 32-bit, this is just postponing the issue.

Never leave critical data in an unsupported platform. Acces 97 on anything is most definitely not supported.

12
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Fessor
Thai Pepper
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Fessor

Why don't you convert your Access 97 database so it will work on a newer version? Convert a database to the .accdb file format

You can try this on a copy of the Access 97 database on a new machine.

2
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Jacob9339
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Fessor wrote:

Why don't you convert your Access 97 database so it will work on a newer version? Convert a database to the .accdb file format

You can try this on a copy of the Access 97 database on a new machine.

Unfortunately we tried that before and it breaks too many things.

 It's been a while so I might try again. That would be ideal if we can get it to work.
1
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Da_Schmoo
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At some point it's likely 32-bit Windows will go away so you should probably deal with the issue now before you are forced to.

5
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PaduaAdmin6740
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1st Post

When necessary, we have always run legacy apps in their own virtual machine to avoid hardware compatibility issues. I have had to do it for archiving and historical reasons, seldom on a production database however. it does make it easier to backup/restore or move when needed.

4
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Jumanji
Jalapeno
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Jumanji

If you can't get it work in Windows 10 and converting the database to work in current version will be too difficult, have you thought about using a virtual machine with Windows 7 32 bit? If all the client is going to use it is for the database then the VM would be the next option. 

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phildrew
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https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Useterms/OEM/Windows/10/UseTerms_OEM_Windows_10_English.htm

OEM licenses come in either 32-bit or 64-bit. You can only use the version that originally came with your purchase.  This is why you can purchase a computer with 32-bit or 64-bit pre-installed.

Retail licenses say 32-bit/64-bit, meaning that you have the rights to install either version.

So, no, you are not permitted to change the version of an OEM license.  You'd have to buy a retail license to have the rights to use either version.

0
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Astimov-Spice
Serrano
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Astimov-Spice

If it's just this one thing you could run it in a VM. And this database needs updated, for security reasons if nothing else. Figure what is breaking and how to recreate it in the new version. And to answer the question, the key doesn't care about bit version just Home vs Pro.

2
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Bill2718
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You may have better luck converting the database if you do it in stages, starting by importing it into Access 2003, for example, then upgrading a version at a time.

Also you'll want to determine what exactly is needed from the Access database. If it's mostly the data you need, you can extract that and put it into a new Access db , for example using ODBC.

If the database has some custom code or logic in it that's not easy to duplicate, you can pay someone to convert it for you.

I find that often when faced with the actual cost of conversion, people suddenly realize they didn't actually need it as badly as they thought they did.

Keeping the data in an unsafe, obsolete format that requires unsupported software to open is irresponsible, especially if the database contains sensitive personal information.

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SaucyKnave
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SaucyKnave

Phildrew, I believe you are wrong. I read the document you linked to, and it simply and quite clearly states that you may only use the license to install one copy of the software at a time, specifically related to the 32bit/64bit issue. In other words (yeah, I know - now I'm interpreting), if you install Windows 32bit using a license, you MAY NOT use the same license to install Windows 64bit to run concurrently with the 32bit installation. Honestly, that seems pretty obvious to me.
(Edited because I'm enjoying wine)

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Jason1121
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I use the Microsoft Access Runtime on computers that don't need to edit anything or work directly with the tables:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=50040

I realize the OP has already been answered - just offering a suggestion that might be helpful.

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Jacob9339
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Jason1121 wrote:

I use the Microsoft Access Runtime on computers that don't need to edit anything or work directly with the tables:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=50040

I realize the OP has already been answered - just offering a suggestion that might be helpful.

He's still making edits. I'm working on trying to upgrade it again by stair stepping through the 2003 version and see if  we can fix the broken things. It'd really be better if we didn't have to maintain an old computer or license for VM just for this and he could run from his everyday PC. That and running supported version of MS Office. I'll let everyone know how it goes.
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tulioarends
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Also remember that if you use WSUS or other update management solution, having a 32-bit version of Windows 10 almost doubles the amount of updates to download every month. A lot of updates are specific to 32/64-bit.

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WireBug
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I can confirm that your key is not tied to 32 or 64 bit. I recently replaced a 64 bit install with a 32 bit and I did not have to re-enter my key. It re-used the stored key from the 64 bit install and went along its merry way :)

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problemchild
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problemchild

When Upgrading to a new version of Windows, "bitness" is preserved because of the installed apps.  But, you can always do a scratch install with whichever you need.  This is a change from XP, where the license was either x32 or x64, but not both.  However, after Upgrade from XP x32 to Windows 8 x32, I was able to do a scratch install of Windows 8 x64.   And now, those (ancient) machines run Windows 10 Pro x64.

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